U.S. Mint works hard to meet deadline for 1916 dime production

Design efforts for Winged Liberty Head coin pay off
By , Coin World
Published : 01/19/16
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Fifth and final segment of cover feature published in its entirety in the Feb. 1, 2016, Monthly issue of Coin World

German-born sculptor Adolph A. Weinman began to show his artistic talents in 1885 at age 15, five years after emigrating to the United States, locating in New York City. He would eventually be trained and mentored by some of the greatest artists and sculptors of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Weinman first apprenticed for five years under wood and ivory carver Frederick Kaldenberg, while he also studied drawing at Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, an institution established in 1859 and still in existence today. The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

Weinman’s introduction to medallic art came at age 20 in 1890 under the direction of French-American sculptor Philip H. Martiny, who himself had found work under AugustSaint-Gaudens soon after emigrating to the United States in 1878 to avoid conscription in the French army.

Read the rest of this feature on the Winged Liberty Head dime's 100th anniversary:

Weinman subsequently enjoyed a short-lived stint beginning in 1895 under medallic artist Olin L. Warner, who died nine months after employing the enthusiastic and talented Weinman as assistant director for his studio. Soon after, Weinman was invited to join the studio of Saint-Gaudens. Weinman had earlier studied drawing under Saint-Gaudens at the Art Students League of New York.

After Saint-Gaudens’ departure for Europe in 1898, Weinman affiliated himself for the ensuing five years with the studio of medallic sculptor and artist Charles H. Niehaus.

After his tenure with Niehaus, Weinman formed a two-year partnership with Daniel Chester French before opting to open his own studio. French, one of the founding members of the Commission of Fine Arts, is best known and revered for his monument of a seated Abraham Lincoln inside the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Weinman enjoyed his association with Warner, Saint-Gaudens and French — all three had declined, on artistic grounds, the invitation to participate in the Mint’s 1891 design competition — before embarking on his own.

From his studio at 441 W. 21st St. in the West Chelsea section of New York City, Weinman executed his designs and plaster models for the Winged Liberty Head dime and Walking Liberty half dollar.

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